All Hands on Deck: Learning Adventures Aboard Old Ironsides
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USS Constitution, Johnson

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Angling to Help Out
A math and community service project

Just as designing a functional ramp was a challenge for Constitution's builders, it can offer an interesting challenge for students. In Waterford, CT, as part of the high school's Learning Through Service Program, students in a pre-algebra class took up this challenge to build a ramp as a math project, not to launch ships but to serve wheelchair-bound students. According to an article in the regional paper, the class prepared for the project by talking with town officials and an architect; studying state ramp regulations; and trying to navigate the school's hallways and staircases in wheelchairs. Although the school had elevators to serve the handicapped, the students staged a mock fire drill and discovered that those in wheelchairs would have to be rescued from an upper floor stairwell. Students created a scale model of their ramp, filmed and edited a video of the predicament for the handicapped and made a presentation to the board of education where the proposal was met with support.


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